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Asynchronous communication

Not in real time, not live; communication that does not happen at the time of speaking (e.g. email).


Attachment or attached file Any type of file or group of files that is included in an email as an add-on; to open it/them, click on the 'clip' (top right of the message) and then click over each one.


Blog or weblog An online log or diary with each entry arranged in chronological order; it's also an open communication tool where people can post comments to entries.


Bookmark A marker that enables you to return to a Web page on a later date. On PC's you can save your selected Web pages to "Favorites" using the corresponding icon on the navigation bar.


Browser A program like Internet Explorer (IE) or Netscape Navigator (NN) which displays Web pages.


CALL Computer Assisted (or Aided) Language Learning.


Chat A two-way form of computer-mediated communication (CMC), a dialogue in real time as we keyboard or speak our words, an online conversation between two or more people.


CMC Computer Mediated Communication: use of computers to facilitate communication between two or more people.


Discussion board An interactive place on the Internet where people can post/send and read messages on topics of common interest; this is done through a Web browser.


Discussion list/group/forum A group of people with common interests who exchange messages to discuss topics of interest through email.


Download To transfer (receive) files or data from another computer to yours.


Email, e-mail Electronic mail; a message sent electronically and instantaneously over a network from one computer to another (several/many other computers); the act of sending email.


Emoticons (also smileys) Facial expressions made by using punctuation, letters and icons in the keyboard:  :-) is a smile;  ;-) is a wink.


Freeware Software that you can download and use for free.


FTP File Transfer Protocol: a coding system that allows files to be transferred across the Internet from one computer to another; the name of the program that transfers files.


GIF Graphical Interchange Format. A format that is, together with JPG / JPEG, the most common way to store pictures on Web pages.. GIF is considered best for lower quality images and animations.


HTML, html HyperText Markup Language; the language for publishing Web pages that is based on tags (codes), which represent instructions or commands for the Web browser.


Homepage, home page The first page you see when you access or log into a Web site.


Hyperlink A piece of text or a graphic that when clicked on with the mouse will take you to a different place on that same Web page or to another Web page.


Interactive A two-way communications system that allows users to connect and be in touch with other users or machines/computers and get responses (e.g. completing a survey, filling in a form).


IP address A unique address for a computer on the Internet. Usually a number.


Java A programming language from Sun Microsystem that allows users to run a variety of programs on the WWW.


JPG / JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group: a common format for displaying high-quality color and grayscale photos on Web pages.


Link A piece of text or image on a webpage which, when clicked on, takes the user to another page or website.


Listserv An automated mailing list distribution system; a program that manages distribution lists.


Login, log in The act of accessing email, a Web page, a remote computer, a network, etc, by keyboarding a username and a password (registered in advance).


Lurk(ing), lurker To be part of a mailing list or newsgroup as an observer who reads the messages, but does not participate in the discussions; it's a recommended practice in the first few weeks after joining a list in order to grasp the spirit of the list and the way it works.


Mailing list An automated email system similar to a listserv.


Mirror site A site that replicates the content of another site.


Netiquette The etiquette of Internet usage.


Newbie A newcomer to Internet.


Online Connected to the Internet (through a network or an ISP); on the Internet.


Online community A group of people with common interests who meet in a predetermined place on the Internet (e.g. Webheads in Action meet at Tapped In every Sunday at 12.00 GMT).


Password A secret code made up of letters, numbers and /or symbols necessary to enter a computer system or site as an authorized user (e.g. your password to enter Yahoo Groups or Yahoo Mail).


Real time Internet term for something live (e.g. chat). See also synchronous communication.


Scaffolding A collaborative learning arrangement in which more competent users respond to learner, providing information to help them move to more advanced levels of knowledge.


Shareware Software that can be downloaded for a limited period of time after which the user should voluntarily pay the author the predetermined sum.


Streaming The live flow of digital information that enables a user to access audio or video files as they are received in his/her computer; the technology that permits a user to see videos or hear audio files as they flow into computers without the need for often cumbersome and lengthy downloads.


Synchronous communication Live, immediate, simultaneous; communication that happens in real time, at the moment of speaking (e.g. chat and videoconference).


Thread The topic of a discussion in an email exchange or newsgroup; a series of messages relating to the same topic or theme.


Upload To transfer (send) files or data from your computer to another computer.


URL Uniform (or Universal) Resource Locator: an Internet address.


Virtual A simulation of the real thing; a technology that allows you to participate in events and experience things at a distance without the need for physical presence.


Webcam A small video camera connected to your computer, and placed next to or on your monitor, to send live images over the Internet


Webcast Broadcast (transmit) over the World Wide Web.


Web host A Web site that provides the necessary equipment and services for users to have and maintain Web pages/sites (e.g. GeoCities).


Weblog See blog.


Web page A file accessible by a Web browser that can contain text, pictures, sounds and links to other Web pages.


Web site A place on the World Wide Web (WWW) with a unique address (URL) made up of files of different types (text, audio, graphics, video, etc) linked to one another by hyperlinks.


WYSIWYG What You See Is What You Get: the technology that allows the screen display (what you see) to show the exact formatting and layout of the printed page (what you get).


Links to Other Glossaries:

Acronym finder:

An E-learning glossary online:

Chat acronyms:

Glossary of Internet Terms by Matisse Enzer:

ICT4LT: English Glossary:

Netlingo: Acronyms and shorthand:


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Page created on 13 November 2003

Teresa Almeida d'Eša and Dafne Gonzalez

Updated on December 5, 2003.